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Promises unkept

Before he won, President Duterte boasted last year that he would put an end to the drug problem in three to six months once elected.

Last September, realizing that the drug problem was so extensive, he extended the deadline to March of this year.

During the joint command conference with police and military last Sunday, however, the President decided to extend anew the war on drugs until the last day of his term. It seems the menace may not be eradicated even after he finishes his term.

It was also during the campaign period that Duterte said he would ride a jet ski while carrying a Filipino flag and erect it when he reached the disputed Spratly Islands and challenge the Chinese to a punching or shooting match.

If elected president, Duterte said he would make sure that the United Nations tribunal voted in favor of the Philippines’ claim on the Spratlys and would not honor any adverse decision.

Duterte got his wish and the UN tribunal did vote in favor of the Philippines’ claim, slamming China’s supposedly historical nine-dash claim on the territory.

In spite of this, we all saw how the President reacted and how he made friends with the Chinese leaders during his visit. We understood that his actions were all made for the benefit of our country and people.

Neverthless, Duterte, being the highest official of the land, should be very careful of the promises he makes as well as the words he utters. Making and breaking them do not help brighten his image.

They say that a man is only as good as his word. This means that a good person will live up to his promises and keep his word.

Make no mistake. Firing Line supports the President’s war on illegal drugs but he should not condone the illegal activities of some corrupt police officers who abuse his campaign for their personal interests.

The kidnap and murder of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo by some police officers has served as a wakeup call for Duterte, who has recently ordered the cleansing of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

It’s about time, Mr. President.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column athttp://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/ (Robert B. Roque, Jr.)